Advancing Equitable Cancer Care for Incarcerated Populations

An estimated 40,000 individuals are imprisoned in Canadian correctional facilities at any time. Incarcerated people, often individuals from marginalized populations, bear an unequal burden of cancer because they experience chronic disabilities, mental health concerns and substance use disorders. Increased risk factors also include family violence, childhood abuse, housing insecurity, lack of education, low-income status, high rates of suicide, high-risk sexual behaviors, and physical injuries. Despite international recognition of the importance of palliative and cancer care as a shared universal right, a health equity gap exists between the general and carceral populations in Canada. Incarcerated people face significant health inequities before, during and post incarceration. 

This project aims to address BC Cancer’s goal of promoting high-quality cancer services that are    equitable, accessible, and respectful for all British Columbians. 

The specific objective is to provide evidence-based recommendations for advancing equitable cancer care for incarcerated populations in BC by examining barriers in access to cancer treatment and care.